Exploring the UK Expansion Worker Visa
Today, I wanted to present further perspectives on the new UK expansion worker visa. Is it an attractive option? Now it may be the case that it may be the only option available and so you would just have to accept it.
But there are a number of drawbacks with it and so looking for alternatives would still be a better choice. Why do I think that the expansion worker visa is not particularly attractive? As I've mentioned before, it can't lead you to permanent residence in the UK in itself nor can it get you a British passport, unlike the sole representative visa which it replaced.
The other important factor to remember is that you need to be sponsored by a company which has a sponsor license. Now, this is not how it used to be earlier. Since this is a new visa, nobody really knows how easy or difficult it will be to get a sponsor license. But I think we can say with some certainty, it's not going to be easy.
First, you can't have any previous trading activity within the UK. Second, you've got to show that the jobs that you're planning are genuine. The Home Office can disagree with your assessment about what jobs you need and the people you're bringing in. Are these jobs really necessary, or have they been created without actually fulfilling any genuine purpose. So that's another serious consideration.
Then, of course, you've got factors, such as delay. Nobody knows how long it is going to take a company to actually get a sponsor license to bring these workers into the country. It could take weeks, it could take months. Nobody really knows yet what sort of inquiries will be made, what you've got to prove and how bureaucratic the process is going to be. I think this leads to the conclusion that one of the main purposes of bringing in this visa is not to assist businesses to bring people to the UK, but actually to create hurdles and limit the number of people coming to the UK. Only those who really have the most urgent need to be here will be prepared to put in the enormous effort needed to achieve that outcome.
If you take that view, then you can see that it is still far better if you can, to go for the existing skilled worker visa. On every yardstick, the skilled worker visa in my view scores over the expansion worker visa.
If you've got any questions about this or if you want to follow up on any aspects of this with us then we would be pleased to help you. You can find our contact details on our website.